Sunday, 18 May 2014

adrifters

An older but enlightening and reassuring post from the archives of Today I Found Out was really something to assuage the fears of silent-worriers, explaining the nature of those strange and sometimes persistent odd shapes that glide over ones field of vision. I always thought that these transparent zeppelins were microbes darting around ones eyeball (always there but easier to discern when focused on infinity—blue or grey skies—or in any visual landscape of low-contrast), which usually receding just to the periphery if one tried to focus on them, only to return to the centre of ones eye when not looking.
TIFO informs readers, as a public service it seems since there were quite a lot of people relieved to find out it was not some dread sign of the onset of blindness, poisoning or the effects of staring at the sun too long as a kid during long car trips, that the phenomenon is common to everyone, even if they are loath to discuss such optical figments as they are hard to articulate—and besides, it sounds a bit crazy and may be a sign that something is seriously wrong with them—and goes by the name mydesopsia (eye-floaters—or en france, mouches volantes und auf Deutsch, fliegende Mücke, flying flies) and are gelatinous bits of the vitreous humour coming loose from the rear of ones eyeball and then floating around inside of it. The squiggly flashes that avert themselves from ones gaze and cannot be studied (or fretted over directly) are usually the electric impulses released as bits of the vitreous humour detach and bump against the receptors and nerves of the eye, the discharge interpreted by the sense of vision as flashes. The article has some bonus facts and some warnings and disclaimers, as no one should take this or any accounting as a substitute for a professional diagnosis, nor be afraid to share ones own weird mirages.